Like Raila Odinga, Like Oliver Twist

Like Raila Odinga, Like Oliver Twist | KiNG JAMES YiYE | Opinion

Raila Odinga has been in the news for years now as Kenyan Opposition Leader. I have followed his opposition style of politics since 2007.

Just like Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe who has run for the Presidential elections severally and lost, Odinga is never satisfied.

The other person who was in that category (until 2015) is Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria who also contested in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 Presidential Elections in Nigeria, failing to win any.

Buhari then on May 14, 2012 threatened violence while addressing his supporters in the northern state of Kaduna.

“If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.’’ Buhari said. He did not elaborate further. It is common for African Politicians to openly call for violence after losing elections, Kenyan Opposition Leader Raila Odinga is not innocent of this.

Born 72 years ago in Maseno, Kenya, Raila Amolo Odinga served as the 2nd Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013 and Leader of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement since 2013.

Often referred to as a Veteran Politician, Mr. Odinga first ran as a presidential contender in the 1997 elections, coming third after President Daniel Arap Moi of KANU and Mwai Kibabi of the Democratic Party. He again contested the Kenyan Presidential election in December 2007 running against incumbent Mwai Kibaki, he lost.

The election was greeted by a wave of violence and post-poll crises where Odinga was appointed Prime Minister in April 2008 in a power-sharing deal with Mwai Kibaki, serving as Supervisor and Coordinator of a National Unity Coalition Government.

Known for his resilience, Mr. Odinga contested the first round of the presidential election which took place on March 4, 2013 where Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the president-elect of Kenya by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. Odinga came second with over 5 million votes, which represented about 43.3% of the total votes cast.

Again, on August 8, 2017 Odinga made another run for the presidency against President Uhuru Kenyatta and lost after the the electoral body declared Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner with 54% of the votes cast to Raila’s 43%.


Supreme Court Verdict

For the second time that Kenya’s Veteran Politician Raila Odinga came second to Uhuru Kenyatta in the Presidential Election, the Supreme Court made it even closer for him by declaring the election results null and void. Consequently, the court ruled that a re-run be conducted within 60 days.

“The presidential election held on August 8 was not conducted in accordance with the constitution,” Chief Justice David Maraga ruled.

The ruling favoured Raila Odinga, who had challenged the electoral commission’s announcement of President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner.

Mr. Maraga said this was a majority decision, but two judges dissented.

The electoral commission “failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution,” the Supreme Court ruled.

There were mixed feelings for and against this judgement. While Odinga’s supporters celebrated, President Kenyatta’s wondered why the haste for a vague judgement that never spelt any wrong doing explicitly. President Keyantta himself said, while he respected the Supreme Court judgement, he would revisit the Judiciary…

In a nationwide broadcast which was later uploaded on the Internet, Mr. Kenyatta said he would abide by the judgement, “although I don’t necessarily agree with its principles.”

“We believe in the rule of law,” the president said, before lashing out that, “six people have decided they will go against the will of the people.”

He rallied Kenyans to remain peaceful while expressing confidence in his popularity and ability to emerge victorious in the re-run.

“Your neighbour will always remain your neighbour regardless,” Kenyatta said.

Odinga Wants More? What’s More?

Like Oliver Twist, Raila Odinga keeps asking for more.

Even with a new date fixed for another election on Thursday October 26, 2017, Raila Odinga is not ready, he is making too many demands.

First, he asked for the sacking of the Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the man agreed to take a leave which he did.

Now, Raila Odinga wants his supporters to boycott the vote while seeking electoral reforms, Odinga’s petition says.

Kenya’s Supreme Court plans to hear last-minute arguments Wednesday morning, that Thursday’s presidential election should be postponed because a free and fair vote cannot be guaranteed.

But just this Tuesday evening, the Police Driver of the Supreme Court’s Deputy Chief Justice, Philomena Mwilu, was shot and seriously wounded after being assaulted by two men who arrived on a motorbike, Nairobi police and a witness said.

The motive for the attack was unclear. In September, Chief Justice David Maraga said attempts to intimidate the Supreme Court judges after they nullified the August vote have been “unlawful and savage in nature.”

Hours before the shooting of the driver, Kenyan police fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse small groups of opposition protesters in downtown Nairobi. The confrontations occurred amid bustling traffic and forced some city workers and passers-by to hurry away from clouds of tear gas.

A police officer told The Associated Press that he and his colleagues were firing blanks. Human rights activists have said police fatally shot 67 people since the results of the August election were announced.

Whatever the Supreme Court outcome is, violence is eminent and obviously, Raila Odinga won’t be satisfied with anything else but to be declared winner in the Kenyan Presidential elections he has lost since 1997.

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